The euro lost marginal ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.5740 level and was capped around the $1.5835 level. Technically, today’s intraday high and low were right around the 76.4% and 61.8% retracements of the move from $1.6020 to $1.5280, respectively. Traders bid the common currency higher after the release of EMU-15 flash June consumer price inflation data that printed at 4.0%, up from May’s 3.7% level and above expectations. The European Central Bank is expected to lift its main refinancing rate by 25bps to 4.25% on Thursday and today’s elevated inflation data have many traders speculating the ECB may be forced to raise rates more than one this year. Data released in Germany today saw May wholesale sales down 0.9% m/m and 0.8% y/y. In U.S. news, NYMEX crude oil futures for August delivery traded above the US$ 143 figure, an all-time record high. Many economists believe the U.S. is on the edge of a technical recession and the elevated prices of oil and gasoline are reducing final private demand. U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson reaffirmed the U.S.’s long-standing strong dollar policy saying I would agree that a strong dollar is a good thing and I believe it is in our nation's interest. Paulson will meet European Central Bank member Weber tomorrow in Germany. The Chicago June PMI survey printed stronger-than-expected at 49.6. Euro bids are cited around the $1.5645/ $1.5230 levels.
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